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Obese and job searching in the pandemic - April 1st 2021, 06:03 PM

[FONT=""][COLOR=""][SIZE=""]I'm long term unemployed after struggling with depression and anxiety. I'm feeling a lot better these days but then the pandemic hit.

I job search every day and have seen some opportunities and let them slide and then I feel bad. I don't even know if I want a job right now (grateful I don't actually need one) because I'm obese and worried about catching coronavirus. I know that being obese is more of a risk factor for having serious difficulties with coronavirus, but it's not on my medical records (I don't go to the doctors that often), so I won't get the vaccine until it reaches my age group which might not be until Autumn.

I can't decide if I should:

a) not apply for jobs but focus on losing weight and taking online courses that is relevant to the industry I want to work in so that when I do get the vaccine I'll be in a better position to volunteer or work.


b) actually apply for jobs now and carry on trying to lose weight (I haven't lost much so far though) hoping that I'll be okay and won't catch coronavirus before I get the vaccine.

My friends are also job searching and I worry about being left behind. It's not nice being obese, long term unemployed and wanting to get my life started while also trying to balance the risk of catching coronavirus. I can't tell if I'm just using the pandemic as an excuse to not work either :/[/size][/color][/font]
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Re: Obese and job searching in the pandemic - April 1st 2021, 07:40 PM

Hey there

Thanks for reaching out for support. I understand the anxiety you have around coronavirus and possible complications and I share those worries as I am also overweight. When I had the virus at the end of last year, I spent every day wondering when it would get worse and I'd get sicker because of that. It's a horrible feeling to have, so I completely understand why you are worried and why you are apprehensive about finding work and possibly putting yourself at more risk.

I think you have a couple of options to consider. None of them are the right or wrong way to go about things but it gives you some things to think about.

Firstly, if you feel like you don't need to work right now, and you're happy to hold off, then you can. The only person who knows what is best for you is you, so if this feels like the best option for both your physical and mental health, then go for it! However, the virus is likely to be around for a while in some capacity, so having a plan in place for when you'd like to start working or volunteering might give you a goal to work towards. But I definitely think doing some sort of course or training while you're not able to work is a good idea! If nothing else, it's a great way to gain experience which your peers might not have, and it might guide you in the direction of a career you'd enjoy doing once possible.

Otherwise, if you'd like to work but you're worried about being able to access the vaccine, maybe have a chat with your doctor? Depending on where you live and how the vaccine roll out works, there might be a way to get it sooner due to the risk factor you mentioned. Otherwise, depending on your job choice, some places might have opportunities for you to access the vaccine through work. For example, in the UK people who work in close contact with the public (i.e. care workers, doctors, nurses, optometrists etc) had the opportunity to access the vaccine alongside high risk groups and over 80s because they were more at risk. If you're likely to go into a job such as this, a vaccine might be on the table for you anyway!

I think aiming to be healthy is a good thing whether you're working or not, and it's great that you're aiming for this. Make sure you're being as healthy as you can with it though. This is also something you could discuss with a doctor. They might be able to help you with a plan.

Right now, it's important to know that everyone is struggling. Whether it's with the mental effects of a pandemic or something else, everyone has had a hard time this past year and you're not alone in that. Also, be kind to yourself. Don't compare your progress to anyone elses. We all grow and shine at different times, and if now isn't your time to be in the career of your dreams, then another day will be. Just because your friends may or may not get there first, doesn't mean that you won't get there too. For example, I am 26, I have two qualifications I'm currently not using, and I'm working in a job I don't love, while a friend of the same age is in a career he adores, earning better money. But just because we're in different spots right now, doesn't mean I'm being left behind. It just means I have goals to work towards at my own pace, and all of us are different in what makes us happy, healthy, and gives us purpose.

As I say, I don't think there's a right or wrong thing for you to do, as long as it's what is best for you and you're doing it because you've chosen to. Pay no attention to other people and pay full attention to what you need right now. Life is hard enough without feeling like we're racing our friends to the finish line.

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